World soccer governing body, FIFA have brought alive memories of the ‘wonder goal’ former Super Eagles star, Sunday Ogorchukwu Oliseh scored against Spain at the 1998 World Cup in France.
In what the global soccer governing body tagged a part of their archive of videos highlighting significant stories in World Cup history, the entry on Thursday was tagged ‘Oliseh winner gives Nigeria perfect start.’
Indeed, it was a perfect start for the Eagles, then coached by World Cup veteran coach, Bora Milutunovic, as the 1994 African champions stormed to a dramatic 3-2 victory against Spain, and Oliseh’s screamer was just a fitting cap to the glorious day in Nigeria soccer history.
It was a game for which the Eagles wore black arm bands, in memory of late head of state, Sani Abacha, who passed on few days before kick-off.
However, was to Atlanta ’96 winning team goalkeeper, Joseph Dosu that Oliseh dedicated his goal, acknowledging that the shot-stopper, a bosom childhood friend of his, would have been in the squad had he not sufferer a career wrecking spinal cord injury in an accident few hours after the team qualified for the Mundial.
Oliseh, who later went on to become captain and head coach of the Nigeria squad, was seen running towards the stand and pointing at something, which turned out to be Dosu, who he somehow spotted where he was sitting among the crowd; and that was the snapshot FIFA opted for in illustrating the history story on their website.
FIFA stated further in their citation: “Flair, style and power; Nigeria captured the imagination of fans throughout the world with their exciting brand of football at USA 1994, storming to the Round of 16 at their debut FIFA World Cup™.
“With exciting players such as Daniel Amokachi, Victor Ikpeba and Sunday Oliseh having grown since USA 1994 – and claimed Olympic Gold in the interim at Atlanta 1996 – much was expected of the Super Eagles at France 1998.
“Preparations ahead of the global finals, however, had not gone to plan, even suffering a humbling 5-1 loss against the Netherlands less than a week before the competition began.
“While there may have been doubts, the Super Eagles saved their best until the tournament proper, kicking off their France 1998 campaign with a 3-2 win against Spain as Oliseh bagged his iconic winner with an exquisite long-range strike.”